Let’s face it: hangovers are the WORST. The night before was so fun, but the next morning? Hateful. The pounding headache and the incredible nausea are bad enough, but what it does to your complexion is just really rude: dullness, dryness, sallow and sunken skin. You look like you feel, and it’s not cute.
That hungover appearance is a result of your body entering survival mode from all the toxins coursing through your system. “Basically, having a hangover is akin to having a bear chasing you when it comes to what happens to your body, particularly your skin,” explains Mona Gohara, M.D., a licensed dermatologist in Danbury, CT. “All that alcohol triggers your body’s stress response into “fight or flight” mode where all the functions that aren’t keeping you alive cease. Once your stress hormones are elevated, blood and hydration are routed to the heart, lungs and eyes, which results in water retention around certain organs — like the eyes — and the tell-tale signs of dehydration in the skin: dry, sullen, sunken skin, lack of color, rough texture and tone.” Also, it can cause acne in those prone to the condition. “Cortisol levels increase as the stress response happens, and cortisol levels drive acne. You’re also sleep deprived, and that also drives cortisol levels up. Both of these things can cause acne to flare up,” Gohara says.
Now that you’re aware of what causes that less-than-stellar appearance after a bender, let’s talk about how to put yourself back together. Gohara says the key words here are “cooling” and “hydrating” — you want to soothe that inflammatory response and replace your moisture loss ASAP. Whether you’ve got a day to recover or a short window of time before you have to be a person in the world again, here are the best beauty product hangover cures — including hair because you have to handle that, too.
This article originally appeared on TotalBeauty.com